Follow Us

Mount Pleasant police say an Illinois woman is charged with forgery after she tried to use a cash card canceled after a 2013 data breach, but she says it was all her cousin’s idea.

Tylr Gbala, 19, of Oak Park, IL, was charged Thursday in Racine County Circuit Court with one felony count of credit card forgery – party to a crime. If convicted she faces up to 3-1/2 years in jail and/or up to $10,000 in fines.

According to the criminal complaint, officers were called at 4:24 p.m. Wednesday to North Shore Bank on Durand Avenue for a report of an attempted bank fraud in progress. When police arrived, a bank employee said she’d been alerted to several attempted cash advances at North Shore Bank branches in the area where suspects would present bank cards and request cash. When the cards were run, though, the numbers were found to be non-existent.

Officers say a woman later identified as Gbala entered the bank and requested a cash advance using a Visa card with her name on it. When the number came back as non-existent, the bank employee notified police and stalled Gbala to keep her there.

The teller turned the card over to officers and they had an investigator run the number on the card, the complaint reads, and it came back as a card that was canceled after being part of the Barclays Bank data breach in 2013.

Police say they took Gbala into custody and found three additional cash cards on her; two¬†from the Chicago Transit Authority and one from US Bank with “Business Preferred” printed on it. Officers also found cash advance receipts for:

  • $2500 from 3:05 p.m.
  • $1500 from 3:43 p.m.
  • $2500 from 3:53 p.m.

During questioning, Gbala said she was with cousins from her father’s side of the family, relatives she’d recently gotten to know, and had traveled to Racine to do some shopping. Her male cousin was often seen on Instagram flashing cash and was involved in rap groups in Chicago Gbala told police, the complaint reads.

Gbala’s female cousin, police say, went into several banks and exited with money. When the male cousin gave Gbala the card with her name on it, she said she was suspicious but didn’t think her cousin “would steer her wrong.” Still, she tried to use the card at several North Shore banks without success.

When the trio arrived at the Mount Pleasant branch, Gbala’s male cousin bent the card and told her it would work, the complaint reads. Gbala told police she had successfully used the card at one branch, and her male cousin kept the money. Officers allowed her to call her male cousin, but he didn’t answer and eventually the phone number was disconnected.

Gbala remained in the Racine County Jail as of Thursday night, according to online records, on a $5,000 cash bond. She will next be in court Dec. 11 for her preliminary hearing.